The title of this missive might seem, as Hilary Duff might say, “So yesterday,” but I’m a chronic late adopter. Hang on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen – I STILL don’t have an iPod. Not even the starter cheaper Nano. This is why I’m so surprised that I have a monkey on my back. Its name? MySpace.
I became aware of the whole MySpace phenomenon in the summer of 2005 as a blip on my radar screen, when I’d read that acquisitive media Pac Man Rupert Murdoch had bought the company. Then I’d heard about the viruses and child safety issues. But that still didn’t stop the young ‘uns in my life from raving about this thing called MySpace. So I went up to www.myspace.com late on Friday, May 19, 2006, and at 12:15 am on Saturday, May 20, posted my first (and only, as it turns out) blog entry.
There it sat. For months and months. I think I had five friends at first, one being the ubiquitous Tom (Who is that guy, and why did he want to be my first friend?).
Suddenly, though, as time passed, I started getting all of these friend requests in my e-mail inbox. I was intrigued. I think the first author who’d sent me a friend request and a comment was Yasmin Shiraz. This opened the portal into my desire to become friends with my fellow authors and other sojourners through publishing.
Leaping from page to page, I discovered a wealth of people on MySpace that I’d always wanted to meet but had no idea of how to go about it. Like, for instance, my idols Jennifer Weiner and Rebecca Walker. Next, a host of authors on the Black Expressions list serve (firstname.lastname@example.org) sent out a blanket request for friends. I picked some up there. Along the way, I learned how to post and send comments, how to IM people, how to add new friends, and how to put music on my page. I still don’t have a cool layout or video, though. I may need the hand puppets to explain that. If any of you know how, please, by all means, hook a sistah up.
So, I’ve been on MySpace for a little over a year now. I’ve shot out friend requests and got a surprising number of them back. Oprah, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Margaret Cho are friends. So are Russell Simmons and John Legend. I won’t delude myself that they’re really “friends,” that they’re dying for my bulletins on who’s appearing next on The Book Squad. However, some of you, my Black Bloggers are friends with whom I’ve had actual interaction – like Gwyneth Bolton, a.Kai, and Monica Jackson. I go in the Pending Requests folder and see who’s agreed to be my friend. I’m still waiting on Mariah and LL, among others, to accept my invitation. Of course, you have the odd horny toad who wants to hook up, who didn’t read the Here For: Networking, Friends part of Wendy Coakley-Thompson’s Details. But I remain undeterred. The anticipation is like Christmas. No wonder Dave Itzkoff, in a June 2006 Playboy article, in discussing his experiences on MySpace, called it “cybercrack” (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MySpace#Criticism).
To date, I have 183 friends, and I’m looking for more. If you’re on MySpace and would like to be my friend, here’s the link to my profile: www.myspace.com/wendycoakleythompson
I’ll be waiting…